Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) could not make it to the playoffs in the ongoing IPL season. The Faf du Plessis-led outfit needed to win their last league-stage match against the Gujarat Titans at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, but Shubman Gill’s hundred denied RCB a place in the next round.
With this loss, Bangalore’s three-year streak of qualifying for the IPL playoffs has come to an end. The Royal Challengers were the only ones to finish in the top four of the points table in 2020, 2021 and 2022, but they had to settle for the sixth spot in the ongoing season.
Bangalore recorded seven wins and seven losses this season. Last year, they registered eight wins to finish fourth in the standings. While Bangalore’s points tally was lesser in 2023 than 2022, here are three similarities between the team’s campaigns in the two years.
Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and Faf du Plessis, popularly known as the ‘KGF’ trio of RCB, scored the majority of the runs for the team in both the seasons. In 2022, Virat, Maxwell and Faf scored almost 45% of the team’s runs, while in 2023, the percentage bumped up to almost 70%.
Over-reliance on two or three players often hurts a team in any tournament. The same happened with the Royal Challengers Bangalore. A few good performances from Rajat Patidar and Dinesh Karthik took Bangalore to the playoffs in 2022, but Patidar missed the 2023 season, and Karthik was out of form, leading to Bangalore’s early exit.
If RCB aim to win the IPL 2024 season, they will have to ensure that the team’s other batters support the ‘KGF’ trio better.
Wanindu Hasaranga and Glenn Maxwell did a decent job for Bangalore in both the seasons, but they did not receive enough support from the Indian spinners of the squad. Shahbaz Ahmed, who was in great form in the 2021 season, conceded runs at an economy rate of 9.6 in 2022 and 13.57 in 2023. He could not take too many wickets as well.
Karn Sharma did take 10 wickets for the team in 2023, but his economy rate was more than 10 as well. Given how Bangalore’s Indian spinners have performed in the last two seasons, one can say that releasing Yuzvendra Chahal was a big mistake by the RCB team management.
New Zealand’s hard-hitting opener Finn Allen has been with RCB for quite some time, but he is yet to make his IPL debut. Allen can walk into any T20 team’s playing XI due to his batting skills. However, Bangalore kept him on the bench in 2022 and 2023.
Perhaps, RCB could have tried Allen as a finisher or even asked Virat Kohli to bat at number three and have Allen open the batting with Faf du Plessis. Some fans feel that Bangalore missed a trick by not picking Allen for the matches at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
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